China

Concerns over Microsoft's purchase of Nokia have been highlighted in some regions, including China and Korea. The former country has since approved the deal with the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China giving the green light. While the deal itself has been subject to regulatory and other customary approvals, some competitors have voiced concerns over the strengthening position Microsoft will have patents-wise.

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Previously we covered the story about Nokia China racking up extremely high pre-order numbers in a dubious method. By the end of this week, the total number of pre-order (at no cost at all, up to 3 units for each registered user, with a chance to win a free phone) reached 10 million.

The actual sales of Nokia X commenced on Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com on 10:00 am of March 24 (Beijing time). Everyone with a pre-order has two options: either to make the payment and seal the deal, or to forfeit the pre-order and forget about it. Didn't even make a pre-order? Well, you will be served last then, if there's any chance left.

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Nokia's brand new Android-based smartphone "X" has been gaining amazing momentum in China, at least it looks so on paper. On March 10, Nokia started a pre-order campaign on JD.com, one of China's leading online vendors. Within 4 days, over 1 million units were pre-ordered through the platform. Earlier today Nokia China made an announcement with updated numbers, pushing the total count to a whopping 3.8 million.

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Google and Samsung have joined Chinese mobile phone manufacturers in expressing concerns to Chinese courts about Microsoft's purchase of Nokia. Redmond is set to absorb Nokia's phone business for 7.2 billion dollars, integrating the division responsible for Lumia, Asha and X device families. The reasons behind this move are fears that the deal will result in higher patent licensing costs.

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The Nokia Lumia 630 (aka ‘Moneypenny’) is expected to be the follow up to the Lumia 620, but with some beefier specs. The reason? It will be one of the first Windows Phone 8.1 devices, so it will be getting a lot of attention.

Information about the device has now come forwarded from Nuoji it, a user on Baidu who leaked the information yesterday. In addition, a new, lower resolution product shot showing the Lumia 630, Lumia 1320 and Lumia 1520 all placed together has also been found.

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Nokia has seen its Lumia 525 take off with great success around the world as a quality handset at a budget-friendly price. With that in mind, Chinese carrier China Mobile has decided to offer a TD-SCDMA variant of the phone, dubbed the Lumia 526, which is available now from online retailer JD.com. They have the new Lumia 526 for ¥899.00 ($149.00), available in black, white, yellow and orange.

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Nokia's Lumia Black update (rolling out alongside the Update 3 from Microsoft) is still being loaded on hardware in numerous markets post-Nokia World, but should you reside in China, you're more than likely still waiting for the update to hit your Windows Phone. Today, we've got some good news for you. WPDang has learnt through sources that China will see the Lumia Black update from next Wednesday.

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File this under wishful thinking, but the venerable Lumia 920 has allegedly been jailbroken. That’s the claim from hacker poandsou and Silen Tech, who have posted a video supposedly demonstrating a Lumia 920 with the jailbreak enabled. For owners of the Lumia 920, or potentially any other Windows Phone 8 device, jailbreaking could bring a new avenue of development and customization, should this claim prove to be viable for the average user.

We should caution that none of this information has been independently verified, so at this time we are taking them at their word. Even if it is true, there are a lot of details that need to be filled in before this can mean anything.

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Besides the Lumia 525 going wider yesterday in China, the other Lumia phablet aka the Lumia 1320 is finally available as well. Today, China started selling the 6-inch 720P device, which features a 1.7 GHz dual core processor and 8 GB of internal storage.

Announced on Nokia Conversations, the device can be picked up from retailers like JD.com for ¥2499 starting on December 31, which is about $412 off-contract. In addition to China, the budget monster Windows Phone will be hitting Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore in the coming weeks.

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The Lumia 525 from Nokia may build off of the already massively successful Lumia 520. The key difference? It has that 1 GB of RAM. While 512 MB RAM devices have been doing very well for Windows Phone, that limitation on system memory prevents the handset from getting the latest and greatest in apps and games. It’s true that almost every app or game that can’t run on 512 MB of RAM eventually gets updated to do so, but if you want say Temple Run 2 or Subway Surfers right now, you need a high end Windows Phone.

Luckily the Lumia 525 keeps the price low but tweaks the memory. It’s really the best of both worlds, so it’s great to see it priced at $148 (¥899) in China, where it’s evidently available now for purchase.

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The Nokia-Microsoft deal is marching steadily to a conclusion as being approved by the United States, the European Union, and of course, Nokia's shareholders. However, China is still reluctant to give its word. Recently China's Ministry of Commerce has started a second round of probes into Microsoft's acquisition case. This time the government has a new emphasis: antitrust.

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The Chinese government recently lifted its decade-long ban on the selling of gaming consoles within the country, which has been in place since 2000. Console makers are expected to seize the opportunity and extend their war to another huge new market. According to reports, Microsoft will be the one to make the first move, bringing Xbox to China in September 2014.

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The Nokia Lumia 525 is an interesting little device, creeping in and out of the spotlight recently. While the handset, codenamed "Glee," wasn't covered at Nokia World 2013 in Abu Dhabi, the Chinese certification agency has passed the Lumia 525 through on its website. Images published on the website (no longer available) were quickly grabbed by LiveSide and are on display above.

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Microsoft is looking to buy Nokia (or at least its devices and services division), that has already been covered numerous times. Now, Steve Ballmer is reported to have been in Beijing to visit Stephen Elop and Nokia. Now, the actual deal between the two companies is still yet to be finalised and approved, but these are clear signs that the two parties are already preparing discussions and more.

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Kantar Worldpanel's latest numbers shows continued rapid growth for Windows Phone sales in European markets, but heavier drops are highlighted in China and Italy.

Kantar WorldPanel today released market share figures for the smartphone market. For three months to August 2013, the report shows Windows Phone posting its highest ever share of sales, with 9.2 percent across five European markets. Compared to last month's report, this is substantial growth. Android remains dominant across the board, as is to be expected, but there's certainly a change in the winds.

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